Minnie Jocelyn Elders (born Minnie Lee Jones; August 13, 1933) is an American pediatrician and director of public health who worked as a general surgeon in the United States from 1993 to 1994. The deputy admiral of the Public Health Service was commissioned, the second woman, the second person of color, and the first African-American to serve as a general surgeon. Older people are best known for openly discussing their views on controversial issues such as drug legalization, masturbation, and contraceptive distribution in schools. She was forced to resign in December 1994 amid controversy over her views. She is currently professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Elders Was Born Minnie Lee Jones in Shawl, Arkansas, to the poor, family farming farm, was the largest of eight children, and excelled from her school class. The family also spent two years near a wartime shipyard in Richmond, California, before returning to Shal. In college, she changed her name to Minnie Jocelyn Lee. In 1952, she earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she also pledged delta sigma theta. She briefly married Cornelius Reynolds, a federal employee, and later to Oliver Machis, a basketball coach. After working as a nurse assistant at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Milwaukee for a while, she joined the United States Army in May 1953. During her three years in the army, she was trained as a physical therapist. She then attended the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, where she received her Master's degree in Medicine in 1960. After completing training in a hospital The University of Minnesota and pediatric residency at the University of Arkansas Medical Center, the elders received a master's degree in biochemistry in 1967.